One of the best security decisions you can make is to use a combination of in-house and outsourced security; you will have the benefit of your team with insider company knowledge and the benefit of a company that has “big picture” information from working with a variety of clients.
How to choose an IT provider
Not all IT service providers are created equal. Choosing one to do business with takes time and research. Here are a few tips to help you make the best decision:
Know what you want
It sounds obvious—you want someone to help you with your IT work—but that is very vague. Do you want a team that can help you with day-to-day computer problems, one to help detect and prevent data breaches or someone to call in case of emergencies?
You need a plan.
Research to discover what your internal team does well and what tasks you only want your internal team working on and then outsource the rest.
Interview the candidates
Picking an outsourcing partner requires so much more than a Google search. You should choose several candidates based on what you find online—on their sites and external review sites—and then schedule an interview with each one. When we say interview, we mean a legitimate one-on-one, in-person interview. These people are going to be handling the technology that keeps your business running—you want to know them well.
Here are a few must ask questions:
- Can I count on your business to be around long term?
- What kind of companies do you currently work with?
- What kind of projects/services are most popular?
- What security measures will you take to ensure my data—and business—is protected?
- How do you attract talent?
- How do train your existing personnel? What do you do to grow your workers?
- Where are your employees located? (In U.S. or outside?)
- How do you plan to manage my account?
- What kind of communication will we have and how often?
- What are the security measures that you have in place?
- Will you be flexible enough to accommodate my specific needs?
- What happens if I have a problem outside your business hours?
Treat this process as you would any interview/candidate and get references as well. And don’t just get a list—call them! Current or past clients will be able to give you the most important information about the IT company—do they actually provide quality services and good customer services?
Gut feelings are also something to consider. If you have a bad feeling about a potential partner, there is probably a reason for that. You are likely to find several companies that meet your needs for services, but consider how they treat you and communicate with you as a factor to consider when vetting one company from the rest.
What questions have you found helpful as you are sourcing for partners to outsource IT? Share in the comments, below: